Self-Defense Tip: Buy a Bedside Gun Safe

“A 46-year-old woman was shot in the face Tuesday night as she and her ex-husband were preparing for bed in their home on the 800 block of General Howe Drive,” reports. “According to police, the victim’s ex-husband, who lives with her in the home, said that he was placing a handgun under his pillow when it accidentally went off, striking the woman. A .45 caliber Kimber semi-automatic handgun, along with a single shell casing, was recovered by police.” A 1911 perchance? What are the odds? Whatever they are, the odds of a negligent discharge would have been a LOT lower if . . .

the gun owner had stashed his/her heater in a small safe by the bottom of the bedside. I’m not saying the mini-safe has to be locked at night, unless state law requires it. But a small floor safe ideal for us who don’t want a gun muzzle pointed at anyone’s head (until we do). Ye olde nightstand gun.

If you don’t use the gun as a carry piece—remembering that we highly recommend HOME CARRY for all gun owners—you can lock the gun safe as part of your morning routine. That makes it more difficult (but not impossible) for small children and sticky-fingered visitors to gain access.

In any case, it’s a good idea to have a gun within easy reach. But safety first. Oh, and an alarm. And good outside lighting. And sturdy locks. And maybe a brace of Schnauzers. Just sayin’ . . .



  1. avatar Jesus says:

    Wait, I was supposed to buy a dog?

    …Screw it, bad guys are just going to deal with not getting any warning from the guard cheetah.

    1. avatar Jake W says:

      Guard Cheetah…Awesome!!! lol

      1. avatar Eastern Oregon Guy says:

        I have a couple of mean dogs. Are cheetahs better ? Do I need one? I guess I should also mention I have a small gun safe next to my bed. I do want to hear more about the cheetah though… 🙂

        1. lol, “Puck”, the animals!…. Be “Very Afraid”, of the “Occupant”!… lol [my bedside Weapon, has “Night – Vision”!…[Crimson, laser trace!…]. and Spits, “Black Talons”!…

        2. avatar dom says:

          Cheetahs are large and would be costly to feed. I breifly dated a girl with a pet lynx. That thing always made me uncomfortable. I coulldnt get up to take a piss or get a drink at night without the thing right behind at all times. You never hear them coming either. Creepy.

    2. avatar Bill says:

      Beware of Dog. But Cat is a Dick Too.

  2. avatar jwm says:

    Are we sure it was an accident? X wife and all. As much as I love my guns I don’t want to share a bed with them. IMHO that’s just trouble waiting for the worst moment.

    I don’t want dogs. I want one of those armed robots we here about from time to time.

    1. avatar LTC F says:

      One of those “First 48” shows was about a woman who “accidentally” shot her husband in the head with a pistol under her pillow. The DA wasn’t going to press charges, unfortunate accident and all. Then a cop did some digging. Seems she “accidentally” shot a boyfriend in the head with a pistol under her pillow several years before in another state.

      I always tend to wonder how many accidental shootings are actually “accidental” shootings, nudge nudge, wink wink, know what I mean?

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        Yes. Yes, I do…

      2. avatar jwm says:

        Classic Python reference. And not snakes or Colt revolvers.

      3. avatar Sid says:

        Say no more. Say no more. Say no more.

        1. avatar speedracer5050 says:

          So that’s what happened to the dead parrot??!!

        2. avatar Robert Farago says:

          It’s dead.

        3. avatar Moonshine says:

          Never mind the parrot. What happened to the polymer mag torture test? 😉

        4. avatar jwm says:

          A former parrot.

        5. avatar Moonshine says:

          I don’t see what’s so hard. This is TTAG. If the results are that none of the mags could handle a year in Nick’s freezer, then just say so. If none of them could handle being immersed in salt water, just say so. What is the reason for the delay? The second “T” in TTAG stands for “Truth”, right?

    2. Yes, i read the “Police Report”!… [She was Shot 8 times, in the Head!…] Husband saying:” The Worse case of “Suicide”, he’s Ever heard about”?…

  3. avatar ST says:

    “A 1911 perchance? What are the odds? Whatever they are, the odds of a negligent discharge would have been a LOT lower if . . .”

    ….he kept his finger off the damn trigger.

    End Article.

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      A lot easier to do if it’s in a safe and not floating around on your bed when you’re unconscious.

  4. avatar MotoJB says:

    Hmmm…how convenient. Accidental discharge with a 1911 and the ex wife. Sounds fishy. Who sleeps with a 1911 cocked (and apparently not locked) under their pillow anyhow? I guess the divorce will soon remain final.

  5. avatar Brennan says:

    IGOTD award winner??

  6. avatar stngray713 says:

    I will never understand keeping a gun under the pillow. There is a whole lot that could go wrong and nothing good that could happen.

    1. avatar barnslayer says:

      Doesn’t sound very comfortable either.

  7. avatar Partially Concealed says:

    If u have children, these make sense. Otherwise they provide intruders a nice carrying case for your firearm.

    1. avatar barnslayer says:

      Not if you lag bolt it from the inside to a heavy night table. Not that that’s exactly what I’ve done … I’m just saying.

      1. avatar Andrew Snyder says:

        Mine is bolted to the bed frame from the inside. If bad guy wants it, he is going to have to remove King size mattress and box spring and carry the king size bed frame which cant collapse due to the safe with him. I don’t even think it is possible to remove it from my bedroom without using some form of heavy tool.

        Plus I don’t have to leave the bed, just reach under enter the pushbutton code and it practically hands me a locked and loaded Glock 22, ready to go.

        It wasn’t cheap, but I got it like 5 years ago so it may be cheaper now. Only downside is it is actually much easier to open while laying in bed than from any other position, so when I want to retrieve it I have to lay down on the bed, and since wrinkled bedding doesn’t bother me but drives the wife nuts, this usually leads to trouble.

    2. avatar racer88 says:

      Yep. Mine is bolted to the concrete foundation with hurricane shutter anchors. It’s not going anywhere without being destroyed. If they really want it, they’ll have to work for it and spend some time. Time is the enemy of burglars.

    1. avatar Rokurota says:

      Indeed. Pushbutton safe is our solution. With children who could possibly wander into your room at night (nightmares, glass of water), leaving the safe open is not an option.

  8. avatar flboots says:

    Accidentally discharge, that excuse is getting old. The X should be charged with criminal stupid for not knowing how to handle a loaded weapon.

    1. avatar TR says:

      If only ‘criminal stupid’ was something you could press charges for… But then, who would write our laws and spend our tax money?

  9. avatar Fyrewerx says:

    I recall a holster from Crossbreed that has an attached bar or plate that goes between the mattresses, letting the muzzle point downward.

  10. avatar Joe Grine says:

    Sounds like a not-so-accidental accident to me. I mean, what are the odds?

  11. avatar rybred says:

    this is what I use

  12. avatar Lance says:

    I never got the gun under the pillow since if you can get it fast so can a bad guy in the room with you. The small safe with a key in it for the night is a better solution.

  13. avatar MD Matt says:

    So he accidentally left the thumb safety off, engaged the grip safety, left his finger in the trigger guard, and shot her in the head…reiiiiight.

  14. avatar Chas says:

    What was reported:

    According to police, the victim’s ex-husband, who lives with her in the home, said that he was placing a handgun under his pillow when it accidentally went off, striking the woman.

    What really happened:

    The victim’s ex-husband, who lives with her in the home, pulled the trigger out of negligence while placing a handgun under his pillow and shot the victim in the face.

    No wonder so many people think it’s the gun’s fault.

  15. avatar Aharon says:

    My concern with a bedside gun safe of that size is that it would be too easy for a thief (who breaks in when no one is home) to see it, recognize it as a gun safe, grab it and go.

  16. avatar In Box 485 says:

    Shotgun on a bed rack that goes back in the safe each day. Has several supporting reasons:
    1 – Handguns frankly suck for home defense
    2 – It isn’t some little trinket that a child would pick up while you sleep
    3 – Super fast to get to
    4 – 380 – 45 = ouch; 12 ga = DOWN
    5 – far easier to aim
    6 – less penetration than handgun rounds
    7 – Wife doesn’t take one in the head by accident
    8 – I’m sure I’m forgetting some other fine reasons

    1. avatar LTC F says:

      Main problem is my Remington 870 doesn’t fit under my pillow.

      1. avatar speedracer5050 says:

        Seems like about two or three months ago while the girls and I were either in K Mart or Target, I remember seeing these 5 or 6 foot long body pillows for sale. About 6″ thick and 10″to12″ wide.
        Should cover a Rem870 real good!!!

    2. avatar Mark says:

      You might be a redneck if you have a shotgun rack on your headboard?

    3. avatar In Box 485 says:

      Mattress rack guys. It isn’t visible until it matters.

    1. avatar racer88 says:

      I’ve had an old push-button GunVault for nearly 20 years. It still works. But, I’ve heard the new ones just ain’t all that. Lots of stories about problems on the interwebz. And, for a SHTF situation, I’d want a RELIABLE quick-access safe. I’d love to get a biometric safe, but I don’t think I’d get a GunVault these days.

      It seems the Inprint brand of biometric safe is a quality unit:

      1. avatar Aharon says:

        Thank you for your reply.

    2. avatar CarlosT says:

      That article is completely inane. These things come with mounting hardware for a reason. It’s not much of a theft deterrent if the thief can just pick it up and walk off with it, right? So they’re designed around that. Now, if your kid can rip it out of the wall or off the floor where it’s been secured with lag bolts to the studs or joists, then he can probably just tear the safe apart with his bare hands.

      1. avatar Chris says:

        Even the large heavy ones can be easily opened in about 20 – 30 seconds with a battery powered $40 angle grinder.
        If someone has seen the safe they will bring an angle grinder.
        the problem with gun safes is they advertise guns in the home. Over a few years lots of workmen, kids acquaintances, housecleaners may have seen a safe

  17. avatar FCMatt says:

    I would NEVER leave a gun under my pillow. I am way to prone to tossing in my sleep and pushing pillows around.

    Really, all it would take is one nightmare or bad night of sleep and you’re pulling the trigger on that gun without knowing it and then your life is ruined one way or another.

  18. avatar racer88 says:

    Accident, my ass. Dude shot his ex-wife intentionally.

    Are there any powder burns on the mattress? Pillow?

  19. avatar speedracer5050 says:

    Here we go again!!
    A Baxter County Arkansas man has been charged with second degree murder after “accidentally” shooting another man in the face with a Marlin 30-30 lever action rifle.The man died at the scene.
    He told investigators that he had handed the other man a soda bottle and told him he would shoot it out of his hand!!
    He stated that the gun discharged “own it’s on” and that he doesn’t remember pulling the trigger. The shooter ejected the spent casing and gave it to someone else who was in the home at the time of the shooting.
    What a crock of shit!!! Marlin’s have always been non aggressive rifles!!! Especially the lever action’s!!

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:


      1. avatar speedracer5050 says:

        Emailed it to you RF!!

      2. avatar Ing says:

        Just googled it.

        That is some messed up sh** right there. 30-30 to the face…of course the dude died at the scene. Heck of a way to go, but at least it would’ve been quick. Anybody who knows anything about guns knows the idiot that did the shooting isn’t going to get away with saying a Marlin lever-action “just went off” without being touched.

  20. avatar Jim Farmer says:

    FCMatt is corrrect. A handgun kept for self defense/house protection should
    never ever be kept beneath a pillow! Or…..even sandwiched between the
    bed mattresses. Honestly now a pistol or revolver is much better being stored
    inside either a night stand , or in the top dresser drawer next to the bed. Or
    perhaps even in a bureau drawer. My own Smith and Wesson (K-Frame) Model
    66 “stainless” .357 Combat Magnum revolver with 4″ barrel is kept inside the
    top drawer of dresser next to my bed. Two spare speed loaders accompany it.
    Federal’s 129 grain “Hydra-Shok” (+P) .38 Special is the load I choose for inside
    the dwelling. While in the woods or outdoors I often load revolver with .357 Magnum 125 grain jacketed hollowpoint ammo.

  21. Back when I was in my ‘teens I did a lot of playing with a cap-gun. One night I put it under my pillow. In the morning I found that it had been fired during the night. I never heard it, but the cap was expended. I had no memory of firing it, but obviously I did. That taught me a lesson. Never put the gun where you can reach it while you’re asleep. Make sure you have to be awake before you can access the gun.

  22. You made a great point in this post. I just spent some time reading all your posts and I must say you are a genius who always throws out smart opinions. Now you have me as your loyal reader. Keep writing great posts.I am looking forward to them.thank you.

  23. avatar Todd says:

    That’s crazy. I could never imagine thinking that keeping my gun under my pillow would be a good idea. There are all sorts of compact gun safes available now, and virtually everyone has a nightstand. There’s no excuse for that kind of negligence.

    1. avatar InBox485 says:

      Holy necro comment…

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